Plain China

Thaw

by Sarah Maccabee · Oberlin College
"Growth", Liatris Hethcoat · Chapman University

Night spreads its net across the hours outside the window where he works,

his figure cast in the lamp’s halved yellow orb, bare midwinter images shored

 

on white walls, his pencil leaves dust-colored marks that in the filtering halflight seem urgent.

It’s more how he appears, the light at his contour carving him into a seraph,

 

how he leans almost losing himself to the page,

than who he actually is or will wind up being in the end to me.

 

Beyond this room someone washes dishes, spherical peal of spoons dropping into drawers,

laundry tosses in somnolent meter, the freight train sways by dead fields and houses.

 

It’s the scene of it, this smoky myth of trust, escape that I feed on

as moving through the minutes, it thaws past all recognition.

 

  _____

 

March and its watery resolve, a wet din like the earth is leaking through

a sieve, heat arguing ice into rills reinscribing naked bedrock, and everything solid swept

 

by light, as if each pixel of blue were a city grasped once, tightly, then buried

back into the whole, making of the sky today then just a version, just one

 

of the many others. Through it rips an artery of geese, a wavering chorus wheeling

through the blue, their flight implying end maybe a cure

 

or stillness I might finally clasp, where I might finally

appear whole not parceled, not just a screen for worn scenes to sweep through.

About the Author

Sarah Maccabee · Oberlin College

Sarah Maccabee recently graduated from Oberlin College where she studied English and Creative Writing. She is from San Francisco, and currently lives in Brooklyn where she is pursuing a career teaching high school English. "Thaw" first appeared in Wilder Voice

About the Artist

Liatris Hethcoat · Chapman University

"Growth" first appeared in Calliope